Rugby Union

Brett Robinson Medallist Jarrad Butler backs Blake Enever to make impact at Brumbies

New Brumbies recruit Blake Enever tries his hand at golf.
New Brumbies recruit Blake Enever tries his hand at golf. Photo: Graham Tidy

Injuries opened the door for flanker Jarrad Butler to have a stunning debut season with the ACT Brumbies, and the Brett Robinson Medallist has backed new lock Blake Enever to force his way into the line-up in the 2015 Super Rugby campaign.

The pair have followed a similar road – Australian under-20s together, both part of the Queensland Reds squad for a few years, played against the British and Irish Lions together for Queensland-NSW Country and won a premiership with Easts Tigers together.

Now Butler has 200-centimetre Enever sleeping on his couch until he can find a place of his own, having started pre-season in Canberra on Thursday, and finishing that off by playing in the Brumbies golf day at Gold Creek in the afternoon.

Enever has joined the Brumbies to bolster their lock stocks. Butler believes the 23-year-old can make an impact in his first season with Australia's most successful Super Rugby province.

Butler said the Brumbies coaching staff obviously saw what he did in the man mountain – a hard-nosed, powerful ball carrier who does the basics well.

Brumbies forwards coach Dan McKellar asked Butler about Enever, and that was exactly what he told him.

"I think we're lucky. We've got so many talented forwards at the moment, Wallabies and things like that, but I think this pre-season in particular he's going to learn so much and I think 100 per cent he's going to be competitive vying for a spot starting or in the 23 next year," Butler said.

Butler came to the nation's capital looking for more opportunities. David Pocock's second season-ending knee injury opened the door for him to play every game of the 2014 season.

He was so impressive that he took out the best-and-fairest award, the Brett Robinson Medal.

Enever has made just one Super Rugby appearance – off the bench for the Reds in 2012 – but he hopes Butler is right and he can force his way into the squad.

He was looking forward to working with Wallabies Scott Fardy and Steve Moore, as well as the "unreal back line".

The Sunshine Coast native will also bolster the Brumbies' lineout callers following the departure of former captain Ben Mowen to France.

"Seeing Jarrad do so well down here, it's something you think of when you're tossing between staying [in Queensland] and going, but [we play] different positions [and there are] different players that you're up against," Enever said.

"It's all got to come off the back of hard work. People will hopefully see how hard you work and might reward that.

"I think that's how he's done really well. That'd be unreal to be able to get a debut down here for the Brumbies. I'm really looking forward to that."